Winner of this year’s Papatango New Writing Prize, Samuel Bailey’s Shook is set in a young offender institution where teenagers Cain, Riyad and Jonjo are taking part in parenting classes. A short, sharp shock of a play, it unobtrusively wins the lump it brings to the throat not just through the canny use of narrative hooks but in the under-stated way that relationships take root and blossom. George Turvey’s production boasts three extraordinarily winning but utterly unsentimental performances from Josh Finan, Ivan Oyik and Josef Davies, as young men set up to fail and fail again.
Instead of GCSEs, Cain, Riyad and Jonjo got sentences. Locked up in a young offenders’ institution, they trade sweets, chat shit, kill time – and await fatherhood. Grace’s job is to turn these teenagers into parents, ready to take charge of their futures. But can they grow up quickly enough to escape the system? Winner of the 2019 Papatango New Writing Prize from 1406 entries, Samuel Bailey’s debut full production tenderly and honestly examines the young men society shuts away. Shook follows previous Papatango discoveries who have gone on to win BAFTAs, OffWestEnd and Alfred Fagon awards and premiere worldwide.